Blaze Engulfs Wanda Project in Sydney Weeks After Sale Agreed

  • Fire crews contain blaze at One Circular Quay development
  • Project remains under Wanda management, buyer of site says

A fire engulfed a luxury Sydney property development overlooking the harbor bridge on Tuesday, just two weeks after China’s Dalian Wanda Group Co. agreed to sell the site.

Flames leaped up a building that’s being demolished at the One Circular Quay site where a residential and hotel development is under construction. Authorities closed the nearby railway station, cordoned off several roads in the central business district and evacuated neighboring offices.

Fire crews contained the blaze by 11 a.m. local time and an investigation is underway, said a spokesman for the fire service. Some 24 construction workers at the site managed to escape without serious injury.

Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Wanda agreed last month to sell both its Australian property projects -- in Sydney and the Gold Coast -- for A$315 million ($247 million). The sale extended a global asset selloff to fund debt repayments, following increased government scrutiny on moving money out of China.

A representative for Wanda didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the fire.

One Circular Quay, which promises views of the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, is still under Wanda’s management, according to a spokesman for the buyer, AWH Investment Group Pty. AWH is an affiliate of Yuhu Group Australia, a largely Australian-owned family business founded in 2012 by Chinese-born businessman Huang Xiangmo, according to its website.

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